Bits: No 1 Lounge discounts, Norwegian switches to Miami and San Francisco, Avios South Africa closing

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News in brief:

Save money on No 1 Lounges

If you don’t have airport lounge access via your flight ticket, your elite status, via a Priority Pass card from American Express Platinum or via a Lounge Club card from American Express Goldyour best fall-back option is usually No 1 Lounges.

No 1 Lounges is the largest network of premium independent lounges in the UK.  We have reviewed most of them (click for the review):

All lounges include free hot food, free drinks (some premium food and drinks carries an extra charge), free newspapers and magazines and free wi-fi.  A new second site at Birmingham opened this week as we covered here. is running an exclusive discount code for No 1 Lounges as you may have seen in their weekly newsletter.  Here is the pricing, which will vary based on the date and time you want to visit:

  • Birmingham – £16.80 – £22.40 (was £28) PLUS free fast-track security
  • Birmingham Clubrooms – £21 – £28 (was £35) PLUS free fast-track security
  • Edinburgh – £15.60 – £20.80 (was £26) PLUS free fast-track security
  • Gatwick North and South – £14.40 – £32 (was £24 – 40) depending on lounge PLUS free fast-track security
  • Heathrow Terminal 3 – £19.20 – £25.60 (was £32)
  • Heathrow Terminal 4 – £27 – £36 (was £45)

This offer must be booked by midnight on 9th December, for lounge visits up to 31st December.

You must book via this special page of the No 1 site and use code MSEGIFT2019 at check-out.

However, you might get a better deal by using code NO1GIFT on the standard No 1 Lounges booking page here.  You need to test it out lounge by lounge.

Norwegian drops Oakland

Norwegian begins to drop secondary airports

Norwegian has announced two changes to its US network which indicate a change of strategy.

Older readers will remember that, when Ryanair launched, it focused on flying to random airports in the middle of nowhere.  Hamburg flights went to Lubeck, for example.  The majority of these routes have been dropped because business passengers refused to fly them and even most tourists eventually wised up to the downsides of a long and pricey bus ride from the airport.

Norwegian has had the same revelation.  From 31st March, flights from London Gatwick to Oakland will switch to San Francisco.  Flights from Gatwick to Fort Lauderdale will switch to Miami.

The airline is citing cargo demand as one reason for the switch.  Even if passengers are willing to take the train from Oakland to San Francisco, cargo needs to delivered directly to the handling agent.

British Airways has already dropped its ‘spoiler’ service from Gatwick to Oakland.  It remains to be seen if the plug will now be pulled on Gatwick to Fort Lauderdale as well.

Avios closing down its South African programme

Avios Group has announced that its South African programme is closing on 31st May 2019.

As with the closure of Avios Travel Rewards Programme in the UK, members are being encouraged to open a British Airways Executive Club account and transfer their balance.  Members will also be able to transfer points to Kulula, the South African low cost carrier, and use them for a discount on a future flight.

This appears to be a messier process than the closure of the UK scheme.  Whilst the UK scheme was almost a straight transfer to BAEC with few partner losses, South African residents are losing virtually all of their collection opportunities.  Partnerships including BP South Africa and the Pick n Pay supermarket chain, as well as the Avios credit card in SA, are being wound down.

It isn’t clear if there will still be any way of collecting Avios via Kulula flights in South Africa after 31st May.

You can find out more details on the Avios South Africa site here.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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  1. OT. I’m off to Japan next week for the first time. Any tips on drawing cash from ATMs?

    I understand the ones at the airport and in Seven Eleven take foreign cards.

    I was planning to use Halifax Clarity MC, Monzo, and Curve linked to my Lloyds Avios MC with the currency set to Yen.

    Are these all likely to work?

    • Zana711 says:

      Assuming that you’re flying into Narita? My experience was that all the foreign banks ATM worked with no issues plus Seven Bank. (I used a Citibank one at Narita). Around Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and most large Tokyo towns, I used Japan Post bank more, as I found that their ATMs will allow you to withdraw in smaller denominations, which was really handy if I needed smaller bills. Seven Bank (inside Seven Eleven stores) typically only allow you to withdraw 10,000 yen increments, as those machines seem to only store 10,000 yen bills. Only ever tried Monzo and HSBC cards.

      • Many thanks. Yes, flying to NRT (in First 🙂 thanks to Rob and others) and then taking the train down to Osaka same day. Good to know that Monzo works. Also good to know about JP for small bills.

        If anyone knows about Curve would be good to hear.

        I assume that places that don’t take credit cards won’t take Curve either, but it could be useful for drawing some cash against my Lloyds MC. I guess I’m going to need to carry a fair bit of cash.

  2. OT Morrisons – 10p/L petrol discount not generated by petrol purchase, 8k points bonus coupon from checkout also not generated. On the upside they have some new self scan machines that are like the ones often seen at M&S food and don’t have scales, so have just bought 10x £25 Netflix and 2x£100 Amazon to make use of 10% off Amex offer and took only seconds to do so 🙂

  3. Shoestring says:

    O/T reports elsewhere that doing online check-in for all those Iberia flights you’re not going to take still generates tier points and Avios (for flight not flown).

    Could be wrong/ clawed back/ a one-off – certainly seems intuitively incorrect – but must be worth a go.

  4. Jonathan says:

    Very OT, does anyone have any experience of emirates my family – pooling of skywards miles? Does it work like the ba family account?

  5. Bonglim says:

    O/T travelling out of ORD today – from terminal 5 (BA business class)
    Wondering which lounge it the best to choose (Have priority pass?)
    It’s my first time in Chicago.

  6. My Iberia account is -90,000 avios! Moved them to baec

  7. Nigel Williams says:

    OT – Rob – has H4P heard of any plans for the newly revised Amex Gold / Rose Gold to come over to the UK?

    The new revamped cost / rewards look quite decent, especially for those that already carry a Plat for lounge access etc.

    • No, and I am not convonced it will happen. We never got a metal Plat card, monthly Plat Uber credit etc.

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